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We began our Advent season with a liturgy with our year seven students. Our theme of giving, rather than receiving, allowed the students to reflect, as they were able to understand the importance of giving to others, particularly in a time where we focus on receiving.
Our focus today was on a reading from Mark 12:41-44, that tells the story of the Widow’s Offering. We felt particularly inclined to use this as it shows a poor woman giving everything she has, making a selfless sacrifice to others. We thought the students would be able to take from this an understanding of the importance of giving.
Especially as how Jesus was God’s offering to the world, we handed out cutouts of gifts to the students. Within the four segments, we encouraged them to write down four things:

 1. A gift that they can give to themselves (e.g. rest, forgiveness)
     2. A gift of themselves that they can give to family and friends (e.g. helping around the house, spending time with them)
     3. A gift of themselves that they can give to the school (e.g. respecting teachers, giving maximum effort until the end)
      4. A gift of themselves that the world needs (e.g. recycling more, compassion to others, being polite and respectful)
By asking them to reflect on their qualities, how they can offer them to others, and giving them the mission to go out and act on this, the community can be made a better place.